Nurture for newcomers
By Neil Simco
Learning Matters pound;14
It would be easy to see the induction framework as just another set of hurdles for new teachers to overcome. Easy, but mistaken. It is a ladder, a way of bridging the chasm between initial teacher training and full professional status: always challenging, often exciting. All you need is your mentor, and a guidebook.
Which is where this new edition of Neil Simco's book comes in. Updated to reflect the 2003 induction standards, it guides newly qualified teacher and mentor through the career entry and development profile and the structured observation and assessment process to which as an NQTs you are entitled in the induction year. It is helpful and realistic - not least on the very considerable demands that society now makes of the profession.
This isn't a manual on "how to survive your first year". It is more positive. The new induction arrangements, Simco says, have the potential to be better than ever before. The revealing first-person case studies that form his book's concluding chapter do a great deal to bear out his claim.
"I think the induction year has been worthwhile," one teacher writes. "I hope that I've used it properly, to develop professionally, to be more open to constructive criticism, more reflective, more willing to learn from others." Another writes, "I've begun to relish my teaching."
In "standards" context, that is greatly reassuring.